Microsoft executives Brad Smith, Satya Nadella and Amy Hood take questions from shareholders in November 2018. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)
America’s biggest social media companies are joining forces with international leaders to fight the violent extremism that has found a voice on their platforms.
On Wednesday, execs from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and others will join French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Paris for the “Christchurch call to action.” The partnership is named for the town of Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 people were killed in an attack on mosques that was streamed on social media.
As part of the call to action, the companies unveiled a series of commitments to stem the flow of violent content on their platforms. Some of the work is already underway through the Global Internet Forum. The group was founded two years ago by Microsoft, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to create a shared database of terrorist content and machine learning tools to identify violent images.
The pledge announced Wednesday expands on that initiative. The companies are committing to:
Create a ‘violent extremist and terrorist content’ category users can select when flagging inappropriate content. That category will be prioritized by moderators.
Invest in technologies that detect this type of content including “digital fingerprinting and AI-based technology solutions”
Explore ways to better police livestreaming
Regularly publish reports on terrorist and violent extremist content detected on their platforms
Some of those resolutions were already in place before Wednesday’s announcement, like investing in content-detection tools and forbidding violence on the platforms. But the companies joining the call to action said the commitments, “further strengthen the partnership that Governments, society and the technology industry must have to address this threat,” in a statement.
In March, Microsoft President Brad Smith